Please enjoy a special interview by President / Vice President of Zauo welcoming their partner in creating the restaurants, Mr. Motoyasu Ueno, President of Ueno Kenchiku Inc., to be featured for 4 times from now on. In Vol.2, Mr. Ueno talked about Zauo staff that he has met. You must be interested in the episode about the strong individuality of Zauo staff.(Vol.1 Here)
Mr. Ueno: In terms of the design for the Meguro branch restaurant, I appreciate Mr. Ono, Executive Director of Food/Beverage Division, for his kind help and support in teaching me a lot of things, including how to maintain the environment for fish, the structure of water tank and how to construct our symbolic boat. When I contacted him late at night one day, he said, “As I could not explain well on the telephone, let’s meet from now” and then he gave me a lecture directly in spite of it being midnight.
The most impressive memory during the time I worked with Mr. Ono was his comment that “We were never allowed to have a failure to create the first Zauo Branch after passing of the baton of President to the younger generation. You also should be prepared for that.” It was something like a gangster movie (LOL). However, I found the deep loyalty for the owner with his words and I had a feeling again that Zauo’s staff were in rapport with each other.
Mr. Ono, Executive Director of Food/Beverage Division
Kazuhisa: Then, he took a tremendous effort in creating the Meguro branch restaurant, however an incident took place just before the opening stage.
Mr. Ueno: When the previous President (Current Chairman) visited there for inspection and found the symbolic boat, he shouted strongly “An image was completely different”.
Takuya: He was so furious, wasn’t he? (LOL). As the Chairman had been constructing the boat for a long time by himself, he could judge the boat negatively, saying all he had to say was something like “the form was not good, I could improve it like this”, and then he stormed out. He also mentioned, “I could make the boat within 3 days” (LOL).
After that, Mr. Ueno kindly fixed everything on that day.
Mr. Ueno: The Chairman has a strong charisma. As I realized it before my eyes, I had no choice but to follow his advice and I made fanatic efforts. Incidentally, this story was to be continued. Two years later after the Meguro branch opening, I got an offer to be involved in the creation of the Shibuya branch. At that time, I asked the Chairman to be in charge of constructing the boat while working together for the Shibuya branch. The most amazing thing was his speed to construct the boat. Never having a break (LOL), he continuously kept on working from 5:00 in the morning until 20:00. He constructed the framework of the boat within one day. After having finished our work for that day, he took me to the Meguro branch saying, “Let’s drink together watching the boat you made”(LOL).
At any rate, I was under pressure tremendously (LOL) and eventually, completed the boat on the next day. I heard later that it was the first time for the Chairman to show somebody how to construct a boat. It was really amazing.
Takuya: Behind that story, there were more and more things than meets the eye.
In the Meguro branch, the Chairman declared that I could construct the boat within three days. To tell the truth, he had already simulated the boat construction in Fukuoka beforehand. Then, he said “I would make it within two days, not three days”.
The Chairman loves to surprise somebody.
Mr. Ueno: I didn’t know that (LOL). Still, his excellent skill was astonishing. While we try to make an effort to learn for our job, Zauo’s staff, led by the Chairman, has a stance to create whatever you can and learn necessary things for that. First of all, their idea to master a skill differs from our idea. I suppose that stance should be called craftsmanship.
Kazuhisa: The Chairman has been constructing more than 30 boats so far, however it was a first occasion to see the boat constructed by somebody besides him. I think he was purely pleased to see that you completed the boat even while complaining. Still, he also wanted to show you his skill (LOL).
Takuya: I, personally, think the boat set in the Shibuya branch is so cool.
Mr. Ueno: Due to the restriction for size of the Shibuya branch, we could set only the bow of boat, however the Chairman seems to have been satisfied with the result, which could be the opportunity for us to examine the necessity to open the restaurant dominantly without setting the whole boat.
▲The chairman was constructing the boat
The drama featuring the backstage of Meguro Branch opening as well as the production of boat was outstandingly worth listening to with a variety of episodes beyond my imagination. Next issue, Vol.3 will guide you to the Meguro Branch with an interspersion of Mr. Ueno’s essence.